Andy Biles Says: Too Many “K”s Killed Astros

1o/15/2015: The Pecan Park Eagle is still thinking "orange" and always will.

1o/15/2015: The Pecan Park Eagle is still thinking “orange” and always will.

The Pecan Park Eagle Says: Now that it really is over, we Astros will continue to digest our experience with the young and hopeful 2015 Astros. I don’t think any new impression will overcome for me the joy of having this club to watch over those unwatchable 100-game losers of recent years, but I’m also sure that we shall all come to some clearer perspective on why the 2015 pennant chase for us died last night. Right now, it still feels like it got lost to us in the top of  the 8th of Monday’s Game 4, when we couldn’t, for the first time this year, hold a 4-run lead over KC that would have had us waiting all week to play the Blue Jays in Toronto tomorrow night with Dallas Keuchel ready to go – and our memory of his nightmarish relief appearance in the bottom of the 8th at KC last night now erased as something that never happened. Too bad about that blight. The 3-run homer that Keuchel surrendered was little more than snother sliver of glass on the floor from the Crushed City fall.

In the meanwhile, friend and reader Andy Biles has written this morning to put some legs on what many of us think was the root cause of why the Astros couldn’t win the pennant in 2015, although I have to say we still might have beaten the odds had the bullpen not failed us on Monday. Overall, the middle relief pen was another serious weakness, as were the absence of a catcher who could both catch and hit – and the missing corner infielders who could hit for both power and average.

Andy Biles Says:

“Plain and simple – too many strike-outs. If you look at the attached sheet, the last column is the strike-out ratio as a percentage of plate appearances without a base hit or walk. Everyone on the team, except for Altuve and Correa (barely), has a strike-out ratio greater than their batting average. Five players (Rasmus, Carter, Castro, Marisnick, and Conger) have strike-out ratios greater than one-and-a-half times their batting average. The batter must put the ball in play in order to generate base runners and score runs. You can’t advance, if the opposing pitcher wins most of the time. It was the long ball that got them this far, but the lack of team batting average kept them from winning a pennant.” – Andy Biles, 10/15/2015.

Andy Biles stats____________________

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5 Responses to “Andy Biles Says: Too Many “K”s Killed Astros”

  1. Rick B. Says:

    Fortunately, Keuchel s blip yesterday will not cost him the Cy Young since votes for the award have to be submitted prior to the postseason. Let’s hope the voters selected him over David Price.

    Now, go Astros, and fill those holes, especially corner infielders whose batting averages are higher than their weight and who don’t strike out every third at bat.

  2. emmettmcauliffe Says:

    1) Andy Biles Says:

    “Plain and simple – too many strike-outs. ”

    Same could be said for the Cardinals. 28 in the last two games. In fact, not to get grandiloquent, but I’m wondering if strikeouts are ruining the game. We were reminded by the death of Yogi Berra that in one season he only struck out 12 times. Bottom line: strikeouts are boring for the fan. The ultimate in deflation, as Casey at the Bat demonstrates poetically.

    2) To Rick B, you are correct about the Cy Young voting. Which is just another reason why the postseason is what used to be called in the old days “exhibition”.. Wags were saying, for instance, that the Cubs and Cardinals had never faced each other in postseason, and reposing that theory, I presume, on the assumption that their battles in the 1880s were only “exhibitions”.

  3. Tom Hunter Says:

    I know that the pitchers, especially Dallas Keuchel, like the job Jason Castro does behind the plate, but he went 1 for 16 (.063) at the plate and struck out 8 times in the KC series. And why does Altuve stand so far off the plate, making him susceptible to breaking balls away? He only batted .154 during the series. The team also needs to improve its bullpen during the off-season. Having said this, I’m still impressed with the year the Astros had. It was a good run.

  4. gregclucas Says:

    Strikeouts are a problem everywhere, but the Astros have been the poster children over the last three years. More pitchers than anytime in the history of the game are throwing FBs at 95mph or more so it is natural that more are K’ing. However, the object still has to be to cut down on the totals and have smarter at bats. No ball in play guarantee no hits. Balls in play give the offense a chance. Lots of walks and higher OB% are only helpful if someone can make contact, get a hit and drive them in. Waiting for bases loaded walks to score won’t win any pennants.

  5. The MLB “Special K” Problem | The Pecan Park Eagle Says:

    […] Astros, Baseball History, and other Musings of Heart and Humor « Andy Biles Says: Too Many “K”s Killed Astros […]

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